Wycombe Wanderers continue to impress this season under manager Gareth Ainsworth.

Ahead of their home match with Shrewsbury Town this weekend, Wycombe are second in League One and only behind leaders Ipswich Town on goal difference.

For a club who only earned promotion into the Football League for the first time in 1993, this marks uncharted territory. Their highest league position to date was a sixth place finish in the third tier in 1994/95.

So it is fair to say the Chairboys and their boss are overachieving. Especially in a division that contains big names such as Ipswich, Sunderland and Portsmouth.

In fact there are seven teams in the table who have previously been Premier League clubs.

And it is the top flight where Ainsworth – who is now the longest serving boss in the country after Jim Bentley left Morecambe – is looking for inspiration. Particularly other English managers who have taken their teams through the leagues – such as Chris Wilder at Sheffield United.

“I want to manage in the Championship and I’d love that to be with Wycombe,” Ainsworth told the Mirror. “I’ve got huge respect for the likes of Paul Cook and Nigel Clough who have done that with smaller clubs.

“But I also admire Sean Dyche, Eddie Howe and Chris Wilder. You have to look at their stories. To manage in the Championship for me would be to make it as a manager. To do it in the Premier League would be the equivalent of playing for England!”

How Gareth Ainsworth can take inspiration from Wilder

(Photo by Andrew Vaughan – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Managing in the top tier of English football may seem a long way off for Ainsworth currently, but then Wilder was at his level only three years ago.

The 52-year-old took charge at Bramall Lane in May 2016. Since then the Blades have been promoted twice. The year before that Wilder guided Northampton Town to the League Two title.

Eddie Howe has taken Bournemouth from the fourth tier all the way to the Premier League. These are the achievements Ainsworth is rightfully trying to emulate.

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